August 19, 2012

Lesson Learned

Today at church, we had a speaker in Sacrament meeting who spoke about keeping the Sabbath Day holy. Our lesson during Relief Society was also about the same thing. I sat, guilt-ridden, through most of church today, and I reflected on what I learned two Sundays ago.

Two Sundays ago, I did not keep the Sabbath Day holy. Two Sundays ago, there was a Salvadorian Festival in Wheaton.

And I wanted to go.

I questioned whether it was Sabbath-appropriate. (*Note: Just to clarify, there is no specific church teaching against cultural festivals on the Sabbath, but I still wasn't sure if going to the festival was a Sabbath-appropriate activity. These were strictly my personal thoughts.) Buuut I rationalized that it was my culture, it was just one time, Salvadorian pride, blah blah, and I decided to go. I called one of my friends who happens to looove all things Salvadorian (especially pupusas!), and we were off.

I figured being there was enough, and I wouldn't buy anything (In my church, we are taught that part of keeping the Sabbath Day holy is not shopping or buying things on Sunday. This one IS an official church thing.). But when I got there... The pupusas were just so... tantalizing! They smelled and looked delicious!

The making of pupusas.
More Salvadorian deliciousness.

I gave in: I bought two  pupusas. (For the ridiculously inflated price of $2.50 each, I might add! Insanely expensive for a pupusa!)

Smiling with my sinful treat. :(

We hadn't even finished our FIRST pupusa, when.... it started to RAIN. To POUR! It wasn't sprinkling. It wasn't even cats and dogs rain. This was COWS AND ELEPHANTS RAIN, and it shut down the entire festival! We were soaked through within seconds (seriously- it was like standing under a shower head), and our food got soggy (served us right).

We found temporary respite under this tree.
This really doesn't do justice to how S-O-A-K-E-D we were.

I already felt guilty (did I mention it was also Fast Sunday, so not only did I buy the dang food on the Sabbath, but also I cut my fast short to eat it? Oh, gosh...), and I took the rain as a sign of God's displeasure. I knew better. But I had chosen to disregard what I knew to be right. I had chosen to break the Sabbath. Why? For two pupusas. (Holy "mess of pottage" analogy...)

Now, just to clarify, this isn't meant to be a criticism on anyone who shops on Sunday, eats out on Sunday, etc. This is me sharing a story of how I learned that breaking the Sabbath -- even for a seemingly harmless pupusa -- is just not worth it. There is a special spirit that fills my heart when I know I'm doing my best to keep all of the commandments. When I choose to disobey a commandment, I feel the Spirit withdraw from my life. It's not a good feeling. :( And well, it is something to think about that "When a community or nation grows careless in its Sabbath activities, its religious life decays and all aspects of life are negatively affected" (Preach My Gospel, p. 74).

Today, I made an especially conscious effort to fill my Sabbath with things that would bring me closer to the Lord, things that would uplift me, and I looked for ways to use my time to serve. First and foremost, I went to church. I partook of the Sacrament in order to renew my baptismal covenants with God. I set aside time for reading scriptures and good books. I wrote in my journal. I participated in a service activity with other members of my congregation. I baked brownies for some of my neighbors. I talked on the phone with my sister. I received a visit from my home teacher. And I visited with friends. (Sidenote: I also (finally) arranged the three bouquets of flowers I bought for our house this weekend! I just think it's easier to feel the Spirit at home when things are nice and orderly, and I can't think of anything nicer for a home than flowers. :D )

My Sabbath was peaceful, spiritual, and lovely. I want to strive to make every Sunday a holy day.

PS For a basic rundown of what Latter-day Saints (members of my church) are taught about keeping the Sabbath Day holy, click here.

PPS This is a good lesson about Keeping the Sabbath Day Holy. If after reading this post, you're maybe sitting there, wondering why Mormons are so crazy to think that normal things like buying food, eating out, etc. are not appropriate for Sundays, the hot dog analogy in the first full paragraph is really great.

1 comment:

  1. Yandry, thanks for sharing that experience. I really needed to hear that was uplifting to read what you learned!


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